Comparing CoolSculpting and SmartLipo: Results and Recovery Times
CoolSculpting and SmartLipo are two great non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures created to remove excess fat and fashion a slimmer body. Patients attempting to research and compare the procedures are often overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the information available. To help patients sift through the data and determine the best procedure for their unique situation, Dr. Sheena Kong compares CoolSculpting and SmartLipo, including the anticipated results, recovery times and costs.
What Is CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting is an FDA-approved procedure that freezes problem fat cells and allows for their elimination from the body. Since the procedure is targeted and non-invasive, the surrounding tissue is unharmed. CoolSculpting has been shown in clinical studies to deliver 20 to 25 percent fat loss in the area treated. Intended for localized trouble spots, it is an excellent choice for those who have small areas of tenacious fat which won’t yield to diet and exercise. Patients will see results in three months after their CoolSculpting treatment. Because CoolSculpting is non-invasive, it is relatively easy to tolerate without medication. However, as it only removes about 25 percent of fat cells treated, patients often undergo repeat CoolSculpting treatments to get more fat reduction.
What Is SmartLipo?
SmartLipo is a laser liposuction system and a minimally invasive procedure. The SmartLipo laser melts fat cells and simultaneously seals blood vessels, preventing much of the discomfort associated with traditional liposuction. SmartLipo is capable of removing large areas of fat in a single session and also tightens skin in the process, making it the ideal choice for stubborn fat in the abdomen, arms, thighs, waist, back and many other areas. SmartLipo is favored by those with irregular contours, as the existing surface irregularity will be difficult to resolve with other treatments.
CoolSculpting and SmartLipo Results
CoolSculpting eliminates up to 25 percent of the fat cells in the treatment area, which means that depending on the individual, additional treatments in the same area may be required to achieve the desired results. This makes CoolSculpting ideal for smaller problem areas like a double chin, bra bulges, love handles and belly bulges. CoolSculpting does not have the FDA indication to tighten skin, so it may not be the best choice for patients with loose skin to begin with. In larger areas, SmartLipo is likely the better choice because in addition to melting away fat cells, it also tightens and enhances the skin. While CoolSculpting may require multiple treatments to see results, SmartLipo’s results are often obvious right away.
Both SmartLipo and CoolSculpting remove fat cells. Therefore the results from both treatments are long lasting and permanent.
A minimally invasive laser procedure, SmartLipo requires only local anesthesia, and thus very little downtime. Patients may be required to take a few days off from work. In addition, patients will wear a compression garment and must avoid vigorous activity for about two to three weeks. The tiny SmartLipo incisions typically heal within a week or two. With time, the incision scars will almost disappear. Comparatively, CoolSculpting, a non-invasive procedure, requires no incisions, no surgery, no need to wear any surgical garment and no downtime. Some patients can resume their activities immediately following the treatment. Unlike SmartLipo, which requires patients to undergo some medical preparation prior to the procedure, CoolSculpting is a more spontaneous treatment. Patients can be treated with CoolSculpting right after their consultations.
Both SmartLipo and CoolSculpting are very safe treatments.
In general, one CoolSculpting treatment session is usually cheaper than SmartLipo treatment. However, CoolSculpting treatment often needs to be repeated to remove more fat. Therefore if one wants to repeat CoolSculpting to achieve a result similar to SmartLipo, the total cost for all the CoolSculpting treatments will be close to, if not higher than, the cost of one SmartLipo treatment.
Contact Dr. Kong
In the San Francisco Bay Area, CoolSculpting has been a more popular fat removal treatment lately. To determine which procedure is best for you, please contact Dr. Kong at 415-673-7600 or request an appointment online. Dr. Kong will provide the information and care needed to help you decide if CoolSculpting or SmartLipo is the ideal choice for you and your body.